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Southern stars enjoy Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond golf course
Goosen and Scott say the Loch Lomond course has a familiar feel

By Liam McLeod
BBC Scotland at the Scottish Open

Loch Lomond is an incomparable place. At least that is what I thought the first time I saw it.

But here on Friday we have had the top two from Australia and South Africa claiming it is just like home for them as they dominate the top of the leaderboard.

And, on another wonderful day with the loch sparkling in the July sunshine, it was mainly the golfers from the Southern Hemisphere that shone brightly on the course.

Four Aussies go into the weekend within six shots of the lead, with a further five here for the weekend, with Adam Scott the highest placed on nine under par, just two behind the South African leader and former champion Retief Goosen.

Scott followed his first-round 66 with a 67 in a consistent show and both he and Goosen reckon they have done so well here because it reminds them of where they come from - despite its uniqueness.

Okay, so they mean the course and it is not for me to say why the world number 43 Scott has performed so well here, but I am sure there are worse sights in the world than striding up to the green with women's tennis ace Ana Ivanovic roaring you on from the sidelines.

Indeed, the glamorous Serb and former world number one has been at Scott's side throughout his Scottish Open campaign as he marched to within touching distance of the summit.

Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic has watched Scott regain some form at Loch Lomond

But he was coy when asked if his relationship with former French Open tennis champion Ivanovic helped his game.

"Sure, yeah, I said yesterday that all areas in my life are in a good place right now," was all he would say.

But the Australian was more forthcoming about his love of the Loch Lomond course.

"I felt this was a place I could do well. I felt that when I first played here," he said.

"Also, it's a lot like a course I grew up playing in Australia. So obviously that was a comfortable feeling for me.

"It's a beautiful place and the golf course is great, especially on nice days like today.

"I've played nicely for two days, so yeah, I enjoy coming here."

One shot behind Scott is his compatriot, Marcus Fraser, who had an interesting second round that included an eagle three at the 13th - a hole he bogeyed on Thursday.

Richard Green - a racing enthusiast - sped into the overnight lead after his first-round 64 and followed that with a more mundane 72.

Spoiling the collection of Australian flags at the top of the leaderboard is the South African one of Goosen.

He holds the course record of 62 and he came just one short of equalling that after a sizzling second round.

"I didn't really think about it," a clearly delighted Goosen said after his 63.

"It was only really on the eighth that I thought 'if I birdie the ninth, I could shoot 62,' but I messed up a bit with a bad tee shot and missed the fairway.

"Hopefully I can have that sort of chance again in the future.

"A lot of golf courses we play in Johannesburg are very similar to this one."

I cannot possibly leave you without a John Daly trousers update.

The Wild Thing sported a set of clown strides on Thursday that you would think would be unbeatable. But Friday's multi-coloured effort, combined with a lime shirt, just edged it.

Sadly, we won't see a third effort as the American packs them away for another week having missed the cut.

But at least the guys from the Southern Hemisphere feel at home.

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see also
Goosen sets pace at Loch Lomond
10 Jul 09 |  Golf
Monty eyes homecoming boost
08 Jul 09 |  Golf
Laird relishes return to Scotland
08 Jul 09 |  Golf

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